Satiric musings by Melvin Tinker on an imagined Anglican past
A letter of congratulations to the new appointee to the See of Canterbury from a leading Evangelical (1860)
I would like to extend my congratulations and best wishes to the Reverend John Henry Newman on his appointment to the See of Canterbury. Although we may differ over what some might consider trifles, such as the claim of Tract 90 that the negations of the 39 articles are directed against the excesses of Roman Catholicism and not the basic practices or beliefs of the Roman faith itself, I am sure that the Reverend Newman loves the Lord Jesus, and more crucially, loves the Church of England. I have come to understand that we are both loyal sons of the Established Church but have chosen to express that loyalty in different, but complimentary ways. (I am also encouraged by His Grace’s evangelical experience of his youth which, I am sure, has never really left him, as well as the fact that we are both old Oxonians).
Whilst I understand, and would tacitly support my brother’s zeal to enrich the liturgical tradition of our Mother Church, I would ask that he would allow mutual flourishing to take place, at least allowing a place for Evangelicals like myself. We too feel we have a contribution to make. Would Mr Newman and his friends Pusey and Keble, please make available church buildings for us (or at least the mission halls in the East End of London if they don’t mind terribly) so we can ‘preach the Word’ without undue interference.
I very much look forward to working closely with the new Archbishop. I fully understand that this is not a time for division given the rising forces of Naturalism as being espoused my Mr Darwin and his ‘bulldog’, Mr Huxley.
I wish to assure His Grace of my prayers as we seek to express our unity in diversity on the understanding that while he must increase and I must decrease, the Church of England nonetheless will remain.
Yours most sincerely,
+ John Charles Ryle
Bishop of Liverpool
N.b., This essay is satire/fiction.